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Is Cash-for-Keys a Good Alternative to Eviction in Chicago?

Is Cash-for-Keys a Good Alternative to Eviction in Chicago?

Yes, and understandably, it sounds counter-intuitive. You have a bad tenant who is not paying their rent, and here I am telling you that offering to pay them money to leave may be your best option. Let's break it down.

Eviction in Chicago: The way the current law is written and the court system works, an eviction in Chicago can take anywhere from three to six months just to get a decision from the judge. And then, there is another four to six weeks to get the sheriff out and for the tenant to leave. This means you are looking not only at court costs, which are often anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000, but on top of that, three to eight months of lost rent.

Cash for Keys: It doesn’t always work, but when it does, they can leave in weeks instead of months! That means working out an agreement with a tenant to let them move out without an eviction on their record, as well as cover some of the moving costs. It is less money out of pocket than what an attorney would cost to fight the court case, and you get to rent out your property quicker. It’s a win-win.  

How to Structure: I have seen it done a few different ways, but the one I use the most is to offer money to pay for the movers for them, and give them a small amount to cover their move-in fee or application fees at their new place.  

Does it always work?: Unfortunately, there are some tenants that know they can sit in your home for eight months rent-free, and no matter what you offer them, they are not going to budge until the sheriff comes out. If that is the case, it is very important to work with a knowledgeable attorney who focuses on rentals and evictions. Because once the eviction paperwork is filed, an attorney will, in most cases, be in place to defend the tenants and keep them in your home for as long as possible.    

Looking for property management for your rental property? Get a free analysis and see how we can help you collect mailbox money without having to feel like you are working a second job running your building. Call 773-547-1546 and ask to speak to our property management division today.  

Please remember we are not attorneys and nothing on this website should be taken as legal advice. Always consult with an attorney before making any legal decisions.

Once your tenant is out, should you take a security deposit or a move in fee for your next tenant?  Find out here